Alprazolam, best known by the brand name Xanax, is a prescription medicine commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. This benzodiazepine reduces abnormal neural activity by slowing the chemical process in the brain. Though created for medicinal use, people also take this drug for its alcohol-like effects. Illicit use is common among all age groups, although young people especially covet the drug as an inexpensive way to feel drunk without the worry of alcohol on their breath. Even when taken under a doctor’s care, alprazolam can be highly addictive. People might think they can control their alprazolam use, but the drug’s addictive qualities are so strong that alprazolam often ends up controlling the user.
Alprazolam Addiction Information
The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that alprazolam abuse can change a user’s brain chemistry. The drug-related dopamine surges eventually become one of the only ways to stimulate the neural reward center, making it difficult to experience pleasure by any means other than the drug. Some of the other dangers can include the following issues:
- Potentially fatal central nervous system depression
- Dangerous interactions with other drugs
- Explosive mood changes (typically rage and animosity)
- Long-term damage to brain function
- An initiation or spike in suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety and panic return in force
- Feeling bugs crawling over the skin
- Memory loss and mental malfunction
- Excessive drowsiness and sleepiness
- Impaired decision-making skills
As with any drug use, an alprazolam addiction can also harm friendships, strain finances and cause workplace accidents.
Alprazolam Addiction Treatment
Genetics play a major role in alprazolam abuse, so it is impossible to compare one person to another when determining safe levels of use. For that reason, a user should never think he can control drug use. One person might take the drug recreationally without developing a problem while another might become addicted simply following the doctor-prescribed dosage. Either way, the best way to treat a problem is with addiction treatment that includes the following services:
- Medically supervised detox that weans the patient off the drug
- Medical screenings to check for alprazolam-related health damage
- Dual Diagnosis treatment for mood disorders or co-occurring conditions
- Alternative therapies to treat anxiety, panic and insomnia
- Screenings and care for any mental health issues
- Behavioral tools to limit bad habits and instill healthy ones
- Relapse-prevention techniques to fight drug-use triggers
- Aftercare counseling and peer support groups
Alprazolam use should never stop abruptly. If so, the withdrawal symptoms can last longer and intensify in strength. These protracted withdrawals can be so severe that they sometimes result in death. For this reason, a rehab facility utilizes a tapered detox that ensures safety and minimizes the withdrawals.
Alprazolam Addiction Help
If you or a loved one struggle with alprazolam abuse, let us help. Our expert staff is available 24 hours a day to discuss addiction signs, treatment options and rehab facilities. We can even check health insurance policies for treatment coverage. Call our toll-free helpline today to get the help you need.